Overlapping business club

After completing the business training, women in the first and second pilot programmes felt they had learnt much, but also commented that they had gained just as much from engaging with the other women in the training group. These women have supported each other and capitalised on networking opportunities, using the group to brainstorm ideas and promote each other’s ventures wherever possible. Some of the groups’ participants had previously voiced real concerns that it would be difficult to keep up the momentum of their businesses when the formal training sessions finished- expressing fear that they would lose focus without these meetings.

JIMF therefore launched in 2011 a business club programme. Initially the program will work off the below structure. After a few meetings, this structure will be reviewed by the women, ensuring its effectiveness and fostering a sense of ownership amongst the group.

WHO: First and second groups of respectively of jewish (charediot) and Palestinian women -- this could be up to 30 women, but likely participation is around 12 women.

WHEN: One meeting (around 3 hours) per month, with every fourth month combined with the other group for a joint meeting.

WHERE: The meetings are hosted respectively by Kol HaIsha (http://www.kolhaisha.org.il/) in King George street, and by Freelance. Joint meetings Inter-cultural Centre in Ir David (http://www.jicc.org.il/)

WHY: The business clubs serve the following purposes:

    • mutual support and motivation

    • learning from each other (challenges addressed)

    • formal training

    • business synergies: common sourcing etc.

    • cross marketing.


Facilitators have been agree for both groups. Joint sessions will be facilitated by JIMF Executive Director Jafar Sabbah (who can also help with translation between Hebrew and Arabic-only speakers). Guest speakers (who will generally ideally be female) will also be invited. We aim to find speakers to contribute on a pro bono basis, and build on the women’s knowledge. These speakers would share their own journey in business; lessons learned and answer any questions posed. An ideal outcome of these sessions would be the guest speaker offering to mentor some of the women on a continuing basis- a number of women have voiced enthusiasm for meeting ‘success stories’ and hearing the experiences of someone who has triumphed with their business.


The learning component of the meeting will run for around 45 minutes and cover a relevant topic for the groups of women.

Topics suggested include

    • Time management,

    • Internet marketing

    • Formal networking.

We will look for further suggestions from the women at the first meetings. This session will include a hands-on activity supporting the lesson taught, to back up the ideas conveyed by the trainer. This part of the program will need to be facilitated by a trainer, to provide some sense of continuity of the business club to the women, and allow them to have consistent guidance in their businesses.

Following this, there will be a Q and A session for the women to engage with the trainer and ask specific questions around their businesses.

Joint Sessions

Require translation and skilled facilitation.

Estimated Contributions (women)

In order to both encourage commitment and reduce the overall cost of running these workshops, the women contribute NIS 20 per session.